Kim Pegula

Bills Ownership Remains Committed To Buffalo

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruffled some feathers in Buffalo earlier this month when, speaking at Jim Kelly‘s annual charity golf tournament, he said he believes that a new stadium is essential to the stability of the Bills’ franchise. He went on to say that team ownership will need to address the club’s stadium situation at some point in the near future to keep the Bills in Buffalo.

That is not the first time Goodell has made comments of that sort, but it still set off a few alarm bells. Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, though, attempted to downplay the ominous nature of Goodell’s remarks. In an interview with the Associated Press (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), Kim Pegula said, “Roger knows where we stand. We weren’t at all upset or thought that he was trying to say anything differently.”

The Pegulas are committed to keeping the Bills right where they are, but they also acknowledge that getting a new stadium to make good on that commitment won’t be easy. Kim Pegula said, “It’s a big, big nut to crack. It’s going to take some patience on everyone’s part.”

As Florio observes, it remains to be seen whether the Pegulas can secure enough private funding from the league and enough public money from the city to make a new stadium feasible, and whether the new stadium would even be a viable long-term investment. One factor that could have a major impact on the Bills’ fate could be stadium credits, a system in which revenue that would otherwise be shared by management and players would instead be funneled into the construction and renovation of stadiums. That issue is not being talked about much right now, but it is likely to become a key component of the upcoming CBA negotiations between the league and the union.

Florio also opines that the Pegulas’ commitment to Buffalo may not be the best way to maximize their leverage with the city, and if they want to get as much public funding as possible for a new stadium, they may need to threaten relocation and stop attempting to placate the fan base.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Russ Brandon Steps Down As Bills’ Prez

Russ Brandon is out as the Bills’ president. Brandon has resigned his post as the managing partner and president Pegula Sports and Entertainment following an internal investigation into his workplace behavior, two sources tell Tim Graham of The Buffalo News

Kim Pegula will take over the the Bills’ new president in what seems to be a permanent role, tweets Graham. The club is not planning to open a search for external candidates.

I have been contemplating transitioning out of my role for some time,” said Brandon, who is in his early 50s. “My goal when the Pegula’s purchased the franchise was to reach 20 years with the Bills in which I achieved this past November. Given where we are from a timing standpoint, particularly with the conclusion of the NFL Draft, now seems like the time to make that transition. As grateful as I am for the amazing experience and the incredible people I’ve had the privilege to work with the past two decades, I am just as anxious for the professional opportunities that lie ahead.”

Brandon has been with the Bills since 1997 serving in a variety of high-ranking roles, including GM. After last year’s offseason shakeup which included the hiring of coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane, Brandon lost much of his control in the front office.

Two sources with knowledge of the investigation tell Graham that Brandon has been accused of inappropriate relationships with female employees. When confronted by owner Pegula, the sources said, Brandon denied the allegations. However, the investigation found that Brandon was less than truthful about what transpired and uncovered other issues.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.